We Are Taking Only What We Need by Stephanie Watts

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Fiction. African American Studies. African American women protagonists lose and find love, confront sanity and craziness, and strive to make sense of their lives in North Carolina. A Jehovah's Witness girl goes door-to-door with an expert field-service partner from up north. At a call center, operator Sheila fields a caller's uncomfortable questions under a ruthless supervisor's eye. Forty-something Aunt Ginny surprises the family by finding a husband, but soon she gives them more to talk about. Pulitzer-Prize winner Edward P. Jones writes "Watts offers an impressive debut that promises only wonderful work to come." Fiction writer Marly Swick agrees: "Each story seems, at the same time, to be a breath of fresh air and an instant classic." Author Alyce Miller notes that "Watts writes with a penetrating eye for the extraordinary moments in the lives of ordinary people. As I read, I found myself holding my breath."

About Stephanie Watts

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Stephanie Powell Watts teaches at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “Unassigned Territory” from this collection received the Pushcart Prize and a citation from Best American Short Stories. Two stories from the book appeared in Best New Stories from the South anthologies. Watts' work has appeared in Oxford American, New Letters, African American Review, and elsewhere. A former Jehovah's Witness minister born and raised in Lenoir, North Carolina, she holds the PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has received the Southern Women Writers Conference's emerging writer of the year award in fiction.
Published November 30, 2011 by BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 221 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In a strong debut, Watts chronicles in 11 stories the lives of black North Carolinians who come from or lived near the “dark houses out on tangled dirt roads on the fringes of the county.” Bright and witty 18-year-old Jehovah’s Witness Stephanie (Watts was formerly a Jehovah’s Witness min...

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of We Are Taking Only What We Need

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